Hello Renoisers... I've sold almost all my gear and it feels great!

I recently wrote on reddit about selling my gear, so I thought I’d make a return to the Renoise forum and share the story here:

I’ve been making electronic music since the 90s, and collecting gear ever since. I always got excited by new gear, and owning the classics - I loved buying new synths and drum machines, and I firmly believed this got me closer to what I wanted. I slowly realised in recent months that this is not true, and while I had built an impressive collection of incredible music gear - I’d also slowly built a lot of guilt and feelings of inadequacy along with them.

I released a few tracks, played and DJ’d live a lot, and even had a song pressed to vinyl last year - but I feel like I was always chasing a dream of being a producer who ‘makes it’ and I fully admit that is not my skill set at all, and that change has been very liberating.

All the times I moved house with boxes of gear (lets say 20-30 synths at any one time, including Volcas etc) I felt a new sense of starting again with my music. The music came with it, but certainly not on a professional level. I loved making music as a hobby and a form of escapism, but I didn’t ever cut it professionally - though I had all the toys the best producers used. Yet I still felt like I could justify the expenditure and space.

I found through VJing that I could express myself very easily and clearly - and people loved it, more than anyone had loved my tracks!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love making electronic music and still perform live… I just now know EXACTLY what I need to do it, and it isn’t very much at all.

I wanted to share this because I think some people may similar urges to buy gear which aligns them with the success of others. That perceived success may not feel the same way that it looks to us when and if we get there. We all have talents in something, we’re all experts in some area and producing electronic music is not mine, and I am ready to admit that - while laughing at all the times I pretended I was, to myself and others!

I am not suggesting anyone else needs to do what I did.

Enjoy making music! Do what you love!

Read the full post on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizers/comments/19f6dhp/i_sold_almost_all_of_my_music_gear_and_it_feels/

Good to be back here too!!

midierror

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I do not fear the man with 10,000 synths he has used once, but the man who has used one synth 10,000 times. -Bruce Lee probably

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I sold most of my gear a few years ago for the same reasons. Now any time I see a new groovebox that I want I remind myself that I can do everything it can do more efficiently in renoise and the desire goes away. Mostly…

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Having a Volca which you can just jam with on the couch for fun though is still great. I find it great not to have to open up a laptop whenever I want to do something. I agree having like 30 synths is overkill, but a couple of gear items for jamming or experimentation I think still goes a long way.

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I’m lucky enough to have never owned any analog gear. Being poor helps, but I always figured it would just ruin my workflow to have to hook up a bunch of shit and worry about it failing all the time.

I also never struggle with inspiration or creative energy, so I’d never want to mess that up with possessions. A decent-enough PC or laptop and something OK-enough to hear what I’m doing is all I need.

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Thats great to hear - the cycle of gear lust / GAS eventually comes clear, and you just have to break it. I would ask myself if the thing I’m buying made funny noises, and then if I have other things which make funny noises. If it’s yes both times, my rational brain would kick in

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I totally agree! I’ve spent many years having spaghetti wires everywhere - which was really fun at the time. But now I need to be more mobile, it doesn’t work for me !

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The self contained stuff is great - that’s mostly what I’m keeping. I like to jam with one thing now and again, and will be doing almost everything in the box now

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TL:DR:
The things you own end up owning you.
~ Chuck Palahniuk / Fight Club


I can somewhat relate. Though I’m at a different stage in my hardware journey. It took me 8+ years to get my gear level where it is now. And finally, I can do what I set out to do all those years ago.

Still I’m looking at all the gear videos going “ooh, that’s nice! / I want that / gimme!”. But the truth is, I don’t need any of it. There is some utility stuff I could use. To make things easier. But otherwise I’m good for now. And the stuff that I use makes me happy & productive.

Along the way I’ve collected some pieces that I hardly ever use. Mainly cheap, 2nd hand guitar pedals. Not using them doesn’t feel great, but I don’t feel guilty about them either. It’s fine.

At the same time I also have a bunch of more expensive gear that I don’t use. And I do feel guilty about those.

Thinking about it, it’s quite a lot actually: Analog Rytm MKII, Disaster Transport SR, Lyra-8, MS-20mini, Nightsky, RD-6, RD-8, SQ-64, TD-3 and Volca FM. Writing them down like that makes me feel even worse. That is an entire set up. You could easily record a full album with it. And it’s just sitting around here gathering dust.

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It’s good to realize that all you need today for music production is a computer and proper software. No need to waste space with spaghetti and other room-filling stuff that can do less than any software. :+1:

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For me it’s always been out of the question to get rid of (or even just downscale heavily) my hardware stuff. Sure, I’d love to save space, money and time only working in the box… but I’ve realised so many times how hardware can inspire me in ways a computer can’t - and vice versa of course. When I fire up and old analog synth, a semi-modular thingie or a drum machine i feel a whole other level of JOY and curiousness compared to starting up a similar plugin. I guess this stuff is veeery subjective. But for me it’s a hard «both, yes please».

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I guarantee that gear will make someone else (and you) very happy!

Oddly enough, I watched Fight Club for the first time recently and heard that line

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IMO you could already make awesome music just with a C64 or even a Nintendo DS. Of course not with the modern production quality that is possible with a computer today, but still great music.

Instead of buying gear i have mostly bought electronic components to try to make my own synths, though for the most with extremely crappy sound, but even so it has inspired me in a simlar way that i believe collecting proper synths would have.
For me it has been purely a hobby to make music, but i have always thought it would be fun to make some track that went viral once. Could still happen, though i wouldn’t bet my money on it. :smiley:

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Big-ass congrats!

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i have mostly bought electronic components to try to make my own synths

This wanna make me to listen your music, as I am interested to listen the synth you made, even if they are just some simple saw oscillators.

IMO you could already make awesome music just with a C64 or even a Nintendo DS.

As someone come from SunVox and used furnace before, and also have made some mistake on buying plugins I never used, I definitely agree with this.

People who usually make good music because they know their tools well, and they know how to make interesting things though the limitations, not how many plugins and synths they have gotten.

Meanwhile, when people talking about GAS, I always remember this gold:

I would say that you should get as many different supersaw VSTs as possible. Every synthesizer or VST is going to have a slightly different sound…

Some KVR forum user

I mean… new toys are fun to play with, but how people would manage to figure out when they use which specific supersaw from their 20+ subtractive synth VSTs, which they can sound the same at the end if you know how to design your sound?

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Think the essence of the thread is “keep your setup focused”.

After you’ve got what you need to make your music, don’t add any more to it until you’ve squeezed every last sonic drop out of the setup.

Maybe adopting a “one in, one out”-policy would be good, too. Not just with hardware but also with software.

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Maybe adopting a “one in, one out”-policy would be good, too. Not just with hardware but also with software.

Absolutely, this is a great idea!

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Yes of course, but it won’t sound good everywhere and that’s not that nice. You can create great music in a great quality on a computer without anything else since round about 20 years. Before that time it wasn’t possible without external gear. Just take advantage of today’s possibilities. :wink:

Exactly, that’s what I’m talking about all the time. A sine wave is a sine wave, no matter what subtractive synth you’re using. There’s no difference. No need to buy everything that looks nice. Just focus on a few favorite ones max, that’s all you need. Same procedure in case of hardware.

Yes! Don’t be a shopping victim and burn all your money for nothing…

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I haven’t really used much of the synths/circuit bending projects in my music, it has mostly just been toys i play with.
Here’s one i demonstrate on youtube:

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Cool! it’s an optical/infrared theremin?

How come you don’t use it in your music much?

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